Head Ring Frontlet

About this object

History of use

Among the Kwakwa̠ka̠’wakw, a frontlet or forehead mask like this is known as a pak̠iwe’. Its name changes to ya̠x̠wiwe’ (“dancing on the forehead”) when it is part of the full headdress — including a cylindrical crown with sea-lion whiskers at the top and an ermine-skin trailer — that is featured in the T’ła’sa̠la or Peace Dances (also known as the Dluwa̠lax̠a or Returned-from-Heaven Dances).

Iconographic meaning

Identified as a sun because of the surrounding shell inlay. Attribution by (Mrs.?) D. Hawkins, 1966.

Physical description

Cedar bark head ring with a carved frontlet of a sun-like figure in high relief. Figure has a broad white face, heavy black eyebrows, a green band painted across the eyes, and is encircled by a green ring; alternating squares of abalone shell and mirror are set into the green ring around the face. Cedar bark head ring is lined with cloth and features three large squares of abalone shell fastened to the outside at evenly spaced intervals.